The aims of this proposal are to determine:
1) the spatial moviment
2) the main areas used
3) the feeding habits of the Blue Shark (Prionace glauca) in the western Mediterranean. 4) characterise the spatial and temporal dynamics of this species within the context of the ecosystem
5) develop cutting edge ecological methods to generate climate change and fishing scenarios
In order to research spatial distribution we will use electronic tagging to track various blue sharks off the Catalan coast. To research their trophic habits we will conduct isotopic analyses of different tissues and the stomach contents of different individuals caught with fishing gear in the study area. We will also combine the geographical positions obtained from electronic sensors with high-precision oceanographic satellite parameters to develop oceanographic models which relate to the movements of the blue shark. Finally, we will integrate all this spatial and trophic level information into cutting-edge ecological models to assess the suitability of these areas and the potential impact for the population of this species in the trophic network of the marine ecosystem in the western Mediterranean, including future environmental change and the impact of fishing as key determining factors.